01 June 2021

The Final Pick Of The Pops From 1986 And 1987 - Love Can't Turn Around, Jack Your Body, Animal, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Boy In The Bubble, Get Fresh At The Weekend, Human, Wonderful Life, The Way It Is...

Love Can't Turn Around - Farley Jackmaster Funk with Darryl Pandy on vocals. House music: Year Zero 1983 - the very beginning. 1986 - house music beginning to burst out. This is legendary - the very first house music hit in England.

More House - Jack Your Body - Steve 'Silk' Hurley from 1987 - simply fabulous. Gives me a happy glow even now as I teeter past my mid-fifties... not so bad getting older when you have music like this to bring the memories of youth flooding back.

 1986 and Bruce Hornsby and The Range railing against social injustice - beautifully. The Way It Is.

I'm not really a 'rock' man, but this sublime 1987 hit from Def Leppard pushed my buttons. Somehow rockin' but also dancey... Happy nights.

The wonderful Whitney Houston - with the ultimate feel good pop/dance hit. This was 1987 - and it's as good today as it always was.

Wonderful life - a gorgeous summer hit from 1987. A walk in the sunshine, weighed down by melancholy... Once again, I was having a crisis - the (then) love of my life had just walked out. This song suited me down to the ground.

Boy in the Bubble - Paul Simon, 1986 - from his Graceland album. This song tapped into a feeling I had at the time. There was a sudden onrush of new technology - either things just becoming affordable and widespread - like the VCR and microwave oven - or brand new launches like the mobile phone and the Apple Mac. The world was buzzing - and there were millionaires and billionaires and sophisticated weaponry and lasers in the jungle... Probably.

 It was a vibrant time, but it felt somehow frantic and topsy turvy. A very transient era - rather like my youth. Bright and shiny and fresh with loads of new things happening. But was the sudden onrush of technology going to turn out a good thing? I mean, can you imagine making a phone call while you are walking down the street?

Who was the boy in the bubble? David Vetter, born in 1971, died in 1984, who had to live his life in a highly sterile 'bubble' environment due to severe combined immune deficiency. And the baby with the baboon's heart? Baby Fae born in October 1984. She lived until November.

Get Fresh At The Weekend. Lovely Mel and Kim. I saw these two being interviewed by Andrea Arnold, who played Dawn, on Saturday morning kids' show Number 73 and could have sat down and joined in the chat. Down to earth English girls - cockneys in fact - with a great sense of fun (not like the characters in EastEnders at all!). I really liked them. And the more 1980s music banged and clattered, the more I loved it.

The Human League, Human. When Phil Oakey spotted those two girls dancing at the Crazy Daisy Nightclub in October 1980, a legendary alliance was formed. This song is beautiful - with a great twist at the end.

Coming soon, we trip back to 1985 (the first year of the second half of the 1980s) and 1984 (the last year of the first half of the 1980s) to discover The Man With The Power That Promised You The World...

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